Healthy Mondays--Adding easy activity to your day

I’m not a psychologist or any other kind of “ist” professional, but it seems to me that being shy and/or introverted has at least a bit to do with our self-confidence level. And our self-confidence is tied to how we feel about ourselves. And how we feel about ourselves has a lot to do with how we feel about our bodies.

I’m a personal fitness trainer in my “other” job and spend my days helping people get fit and healthy. I love watching my clients gain self-confidence as they increase their fitness level and improve their diets.

We writers spend a lot of time sitting on our behinds, not moving much, and probably not making the best food choices. I’ve decided to make Mondays the day to share a small tip or suggestion with you, baby steps to improving your health and fitness.

This week’s tip: Make 30 inactive minutes active.

I want you to think about your day. I can pretty much guarantee you can find 30 minutes to which you can add some activity. It doesn’t have to be all at once. I’m talking simple movement and activity, nothing formal or strenuous.


  • When you’re staring at your computer screen or notebook, trying to come up with the next scene or fix a plot problem, could you think while you’re walking around the block, around the house, up and down the stairs, while bouncing on a big fitness ball? While rolling your shoulders?

  • If you have a desk job, get up and go visit that co-worker rather than emailing him/her. 

  • Can you use a bathroom on a different floor, or use the stairs rather than the elevator?

  • While standing in line at the store/post office/wherever, do calf raises or deep breathing or butt squeezes.

  • Instead of plopping down on the couch to watch the news or your favorite sitcom, sit on the floor and stretch or do some crunches or pushups.

  • While brushing your teeth, balance on one leg for the top teeth, and switch legs for the bottom teeth.

  • While brushing your teeth or doing dishes, do some calf raises.
The possibilities are endless. I like to listen to books on tape. I’ll tell myself I can only “read” while I’m cleaning house or walking outside or on the treadmill. It's amazing how much I'll get done while listening to a thriller!

What times of the day are you inactive? Can you think of a way to make that time more active? Can you think of little ways to add more activity into your day?


  1. This is soooo timely! My husband and I both have the winter blahs, I think, mostly because we're both so out of shape! I do sometimes sit on a big exercise ball and flex my leg muscles. If I could only figure out how to attach the laptop to the treadmill, I'd be in great shape (literally!)
    Thanks for the reminder to get in gear!

  2. Hey Cate--It really doesn't take much. I call my almost daily walks my "worry" walks--all those little things that I tend to fret about or that keep me awake at night, I let myself whine and stress over while I'm walking. It's amazing how much better I feel when I'm done. Unless my dog is being a butthead and pulling on the leash the whole time...then my mood might be worse...

  3. Came over from Giam to see your cover! But I'm going to commit to two short sessions per day beginning today.

    LOL, I'm picturing standing in line at the PO and the person in front of me is doing butt tucks. ;)

    Thanks for the tips.

  4. Winter is the WORST time to get in the mood to do anything! When the weather is warmer, I do take time outside, but when it gets below 20 degrees, I tend to hole up.

  5. Marley--thanks for coming by. I love the image of the person in line doing butt tucks. This time of year when we're all wearing coats, it's easy to do and get away with it. But as the coats come off... :) Good for you for committing to two small sessions a day. Baby steps.

    Ilone--It is hard to get motivated in the winter, isn't it? Especially on the cold, gray days. I have a light box (call it my "happy light") and sit in front of it daily. I'll talk about that in an upcoming post. Thanks for visiting.

  6. I have a one-year-old Lab who pretty much guarantees I'll get outside daily (I can soooo relate to your wrong end of the leash comment!)

    Since I work from home, I looking at your suggestions for ways to add activity during the day. Some days, I find I'm hunched over the keyboard, all knotted up, and absolutely creaky when I finally stand up again!


  7. I feel that way, too, Cathy. I get up from my writing session and think, "Man, when did I turn 80 years old without knowing it?" Same thing when I get out of bed each day.